Thursday, September 18, 2014

God Loves Gays

The Facebook page simply known as 'God' is trying to get a billboard here in Utah that reads "God Loves Gays." He was shot down by both major advertising companies in the state, Yesco and Reagan, because the billboard is deemed to be too controversial.

While I agree it is a controversial billboard for my state. I believe it needs to go up.

The two companies have stated that, "they don't want to offend clients," and "their signs are on leased property and they don't want to offend any of their landlords."

This shows how bad Utah is when it comes to anything that is contrary to the teachings of the Mormon faith. 

This is not the first time I have seen something like this pop up in my home state. There have been similar fights with atheist groups putting up billboards about lack of faith, but they were eventually able to find a location for a billboard.

I have a few friends who support Yesco and Reagan in their decision and when I asked why not support love and acceptance, the friends went silent.

The bible teaches love to all men. To love your enemy. So why do so many who claim to live by the precepts of the Gospel of Jesus fight so much to destroy 'love?'

Why are so many looked down upon for living their lives differently when the bible teaches otherwise?  

Acts 10:28 Never think of anyone as impure.

This is a group of people who are human. They are not beneath anyone. In our Declaration of Independence it states, "All men are created equal." Not all 'straight' men, nor all 'white' men, nor all 'rich' men, but 'ALL MEN.' 

I am glad to live in a time where love and acceptance is growing. That our perception of what is evil is evolving. I will always do my part to fight for what is right and what is needed. I will not condone that which harms another. I will fight against those that preach hate. I will fight for anyone's right to believe what they will and worship how they wish, but the moment you use your faith to fight against the rights of another I will rise up against you and the hate.

Our country and many others were founded on freedom; not freedom to oppress. Until the day comes that everyone has the same rights to marry, to love, and to live I will fight.

I wake up every day hoping for this to no longer be an issue, but there are still too many people who have fear in their hearts. My wish is for one day love to conquer fear. Love is stronger than fear and if I can change just one person with love, how many more people can be changed by that one person? How many lives will be affected by that one embrace?

Monday, August 18, 2014

The night sky

Last night I had my very first opportunity of viewing the Milky Way in the night sky. To say the least, it was awe inspiring. There really are no words to adequately describe it. I went out to the West Desert in Utah to the Knolls Recreation Area. I went out before the moon came up. I found a dark quiet spot. Turned off my car and the lights, stepped outside, and just looked up. I saw something that pictures cannot do justice.

I could have taken a picture, but it would not have been the same. It was amazing. Within the first 5 minutes I saw at least 3 shooting stars, another star that seemed to move smoothly through the sky, which I am sure was a satellite, and the vast band of the Milky Way from one horizon to the other.

It was surreal. It really is something indescribable. You go out there and the only thing you hear is the wind in your ears and all you see is the glow in the sky. It took a few minutes for my eyes to adjust to the light of the stars and as they did I saw more stars. It opened up my eyes and wondered what it was like to those in the past that looked up.

It gave me a new meaning to things such as "Starry Night" by van Gogh. It was if I was staring into his painting. Seeing all the detail in the sky that he saw. Something that we often take for granted in our modern world. After seeing this spectacle I understand why the ancients revered the sky.

Just 15 minutes of being immersed in the light of the stars opened up a flood of thoughts that have never come to mind before. I wish I had the ability to talk to Galileo and Copernicus and see their sky. To learn from their knowledge and then come back to modern times and speak with Asimov, Sagan, and Tyson and get their take and perspective on our universe.

We yearn to know what is out there, and why not? The innumerable stars and galaxies that we have discovered and those that we have yet to discover give us an insight of where we came from. Because as Carl Sagan once said, "We are made of star-stuff."

Yes, our existence here on earth is but a blip in time. We are here, but for a short and almost seemingly meaningless existence, but when I think about this quote and really see the stars and the galaxies as close as possible to how the ancients would have, I do not see myself as insignificant. I am made of something bigger. Something that gives the world wonder.

I can use what I have been created from to give life to those around me and be a beacon to my fellow man as a star is to our world, our civilizations, and our minds. As I look up to the stars I can say, "I am made of star-stuff and I will be that 'star' to those around me."

Sunday, August 10, 2014

What is a soul? What is god?

Just this morning I finished the book "The Alchemist" by Paulo Coelho. It is very god centric and speaks a lot about souls. I know this will be a very different approach on the topic, but I hope I can be clear enough so that you can understand my interpretation on things while still considering myself an atheist.

I wrote a blog awhile ago called "Assholes and Atheists" and I really think this is a continuation of that blog. It comes from a very different place brought on by thoughts I had while reading this book over the last few days.

"The Alchemist" is a quick read and is only about 167 pages. It really made me think a lot more than most other books I have read. Without giving away too much of the story it is one person's journey to tune himself with God and The Soul of the Earth.

To me god and a soul are very different things. I don't believe there is a god, but I can still read these types of books and take my own atheistic perception on the subject.

To me god may be science or nature or evolution. It is something that follows a precise path and gives us humans something to study and be in awe of. God is something not fully explained. We don't know everything there is to know about this world. At times God was in the wind or sun or the ocean. He/she then evolved into Zeus, Ra, or Odin; and later to Jehovah, Allah, or Yahweh. Just as we learn more and more about the world we evolve our perception of God(s).

Why does everything have to be so black and white? God or no god? Now again, I don't believe in an almighty being that rules over the universe and watches us to make sure we do good and worship him/her, but there are rules of nature and physics that are to be followed and watch over this universe. The further we delve into science and the more our knowledge and understanding grows of the universe we come closer to what I believe is a perception of god and rules and laws.

The same can be said for a soul. So many books and ideas go in the eternity of a soul, but what is a soul? Does it have to be ghostly image of me that lives in the heavens or the stars for eternity? Can it not be my conscience, my logic, or my example for others?

Because the true legacy that lives on is how others perceive us from our actions and words. Who is to say that some of my actions have not come from Ramses, William Wallace, or Mark Twain?

We each live in this universe for a relatively short time. We each touch others lives in our own ways for good or for worse. Each person then perceives us in their own way and learns and grows from that. They may take part of our "soul" with them and change others in the same way we changed them. And in this way we become eternal.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Speaking as man or maybe as God

The new way of justification in the LDS Faith really irks me. When something comes up as no longer being taught as doctrine from a former prophet they say, "he was just speaking as a man."

The LDS Faith teaches that a prophet is called of God, by God, to speak for God to the masses. How are the followers now supposed to know when a prophet is speaking as man or as God?

The most recent doctrine that was tossed aside this way was how Brigham Young taught about black people. They were lesser than other races. They would make it to the Celestial Kingdom (the highest level of heaven according to the LDS), but only as servants. They were not allowed to receive the Melchizedek Priesthood, but allowed the Aaronic Priesthood up until 1978.

A few months ago the leaders of the faith finally offered an apology and said Brigham was speaking as man.

Which brings me to question how are the followers supposed to know if Thomas S. Monson is speaking as man? Was Gordon B. Hinckley ever speaking as man? What about David O. McKay, Spencer W. Kimball, or George Albert Smith?

When a prophet speaks to God the followers take everything they say as doctrine. There is very little question. Sometimes you get those like Kate Kelly, John Dehlin, and Rock Waterman, but usually those that would become like them are quashed before they reach that level. They are scared into believing their family will no longer see them after this life, that they will not reach heaven and be with God or Jesus. That if they continue down this path it is damnation. So they conform and move on.

I am in full support of these people. They are bringing heartfelt questions before the leaders of the faith and want a better church. It is always good to question. The church claims to teach it is ok to question, but in all reality if you don't change your questions to match their answers you are an apostate. You are ridiculed. You are then turned into what is most as feared by the believing, an anti-Mormon.

What then happens in the next 100 years or so when Thomas S. Monson is labeled as speaking as man? How does that help the lives that are ruined in the present? The families torn apart today? The hearts broken yesterday?

Thursday, June 12, 2014

It's ok to doubt, just not in public.

This week has been interesting, to say the least. It has looked for awhile that the LDS leaders were starting to come around and be a little more accepting. That is, until yesterday when the news hit...

For those of you unaware, the founder of Ordain Women and the creator of the podcast Mormon Stories have been threatened with excommunication and have been called to appear in a church disciplinary trial. This is huge in the faith.

From what they have shared the leaders of the faith have called them apostates and to repent of their sins.

Now mind you, these "sins" have just been questions about the faith. Which, in my understanding, is how the whole LDS faith came to be. Fourteen year old Joe, went into the forest near his home to ask God which church is true.

The founder of Ordain Women has asked the leaders of the faith to ask God if women can have the priesthood. That is all. Yet, they refuse to even ask. What are they afraid of? Will God say yes? Will God not answer? Will they be proven frauds? Or will they come back and say, "God said no," and be labeled sexist.

And honestly, why can't women have the priesthood? Women gave blessings in early church history. The bible talks of priestesses working in the temple, so why not now? The faith promotes an unchanging view of doctrine as given by God, but I see nothing but changes.

Black people were refused the priesthood. Polygamy was once common practice. Hell, they now have Tithing because the Law of Consecration proved to not work. In order for a church to live on, change is inevitable.

Now we move on to the creator of Mormon Stories. He is open about his doubts, but still says the church is true and that it is ok to doubt. He has a ton of followers, Mormon and Non-Mormon alike. He has called the leaders to be more accepting of the LGBT community. This is where he comes in to play.

Again this is about change. Why are the leaders so afraid of change? Will they lose power? Will they lose members? Will they lose money?

The way they "kick against the pricks" is what is hurting them. You listen to a lot of the people out there and there are a lot that have stated the leaders have hurt them. They have left no room for any questions. And in that one move you have undermined the core beginnings of your faith. Because one boy asked God who is right.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

Bare Shoulders

This week is the curious case of the bare shoulders incident. For those of you not familiar with this Wasatch High School in Heber City, Utah edited girls photos in the yearbook that were deemed inappropriate. Mainly those showing shoulders, my god those sexy shoulders, and low cut shirts. Many of the girls were upset because it was done poorly and if they had known they would have changed their outfit and retaken photos. The school claims to have announced this before the photos were taken. The students also say that no photos of males were altered and the school didn't edit all the photos that were "inappropriate."

When I looked at the before and after photos I didn't see how showing your shoulders is so terrible. In the low cut shirt photos, because of where the photos are cropped to fit in the yearbook, there wasn't any cleavage. It is just a way of controlling the youth in our culture. It honestly promotes the rape culture. Women have to dress a certain way so men can control their urges.

What is this really teaching our youth? Why the fuck don't men have to control themselves? It's not like every time I see a woman in a mini skirt or hot pants I want to rape her, but this is exactly what I was taught all growing up. We dress ourselves modestly so we can help repress the urges of those attracted to us. Even boys were told to dress modestly, which was never enforced like it was for the girls. Men can get away with just about anything because the excuse is always, "boys will be boys." On the other hand, for girls, they have to stay pure for the future husbands and always dress and act modestly, because "modest is hottest." But is it really?

Everyone should be able to dress how they want without the fear of thinking someone will want to take advantage of them. You always hear how the victims are demonized in rape cases. That if they didn't drink so much alcohol. If they hadn't worn those clothes. If they wouldn't have changed her mind halfway through... First of all, in any case, NO means NO. It is NEVER the victims fault and until we fix this, we will never fix the rest of the issue.

Women are people. They are not lesser than man. They are not man's servant. They are equal and deserve to be treated as such. If a woman is comfortable in her mini skirt in public or showing some cleavage is it really harming anyone? If we can teach our children that the human body is beautiful instead of something that we should be ashamed of we would be much further ahead in our attitude towards people in general than we are now.

Unfortunately we live in a male dominated world. A big chunk of that comes from religion. It started with Eve. The blame has been on her since she ate the apple. Let's not forget that Adam ate the damned fruit too!

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

Second to the last step in my journey to absolute ex-Mormonism.

Yesterday I got my final letter from LDS Faith headquarters. I am officially no longer Mormon! It's been a long journey to get here. I have lost many friends, but gained many more. I used people as my crutches and turned around and helped them as they did for me. I have leaned against others who are going through the same process and I am currently helping others who are further behind than I am.

The small, but growing group of ex-Mormons is more of a family than anything else. It is not easy to take this step. We lean on and learn from each other. We pull and push. We give each other support in a world that gives none back. Most of us have hardships with family. Most of us lose friends. And some of us even lose family. People who once loved us turn on us because of faith. That is why we create a family of our own, but enough of that. I've written about that road, and there may be more to come with that subject.

I write about why I think this is the second to last step. I call it that because even though I am now no longer a member on the records there are still things tugging at me. There are still times I catch myself thinking about things as if I was still Mormon. The final step will be to rid myself of that thinking. It's hard when that has been beaten into your head for 25 years before you finally yell, "BULLSHIT!"

When I got my letter I couldn't believe it. I opened my mailbox and saw the letter from church headquarters and thought, "there is no way this is what I have been waiting for," and yet it was! I fought my local bishop for just over 2 months. He never answered my phone calls. He called me back once, but I was unable to answer at the time. I think he just got sick of my weekly voicemails.

When I opened and read the letter a flood of emotions went through me; unbelief, freedom, happiness, more unbelief. I was now part of a group; a group that showed more support for me being who I am than my family did at many times of my life. Not that I wasn't already part of this group, but this letter made it real, tangible. I could feel it in my hands. I could see it with my eyes. It gave me something I have been hoping for for some time.

With this letter I look forward to continuing my journey and taking that last step. Who knows it may take another 20 years, but I have a growing family that supports me in my journey. A family that I learn from. A family that learns from me. And most importantly a family that supports me being ME.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014


This is one of my favorite comics I have ever come across. It is profound and thought provoking. I love how it goes into the point of why ask questions when someone out there already has the answer. With reading the comic again recently and having my friend ask this on Facebook, "If you could ask an agnostic, atheist, or person of another faith a couple of questions, what would they be? This can be a touchy subject so I ask that we all remain respectful of others' outlooks. That doesn't mean you can't ask hard questions as long as they're fair (I'd prefer hard questions as they make people think outside the box)," it got me thinking about this subject. He was looking for what kind of questions people of faith have for the the non-believing.

Why ask questions? What is the point? I think the biggest point of questions is learn from others.

From what I have experienced from those that are still faithful they can't grasp why I left. It seems dumb. They feel I have made a huge mistake in my life and I will regret it for eternity when I meet God, but I think questions can give those answers, on both sides, when we are willing to listen and see through another persons eyes.

I can see where religion can be good for someone, which is also summed up in another comic. If something makes you happy who am I to judge? I just wish it worked the other way around. I know a lot of religious folk who can see I'm happy and let me be, but in my experiences there are a lot more that try to convince otherwise. I think they are looking at all the answers instead of seeing my questions.

A few weeks ago some coworkers asked me, "are you happy since you left the faith?" I answered, without hesitation with a, "yes, I have found more happiness outside the confines of the religion I grew up in than within." They ask me how is it that I can't believe in god. I told them, "that is a bit much to answer in just a 15 minute break, but really what is the true difference between God and the love of my fiancee? The colors of nature? The feeling of an amazing Sunday afternoon nap? With almost everything about the world we have in the bible, science has proven that obsolete. There are still those unanswered questions, but if we keep looking to the bible we won't progress. Science keeps looking, science keeps searching; because without questions what is the point? The Bible teaches us to stop asking questions and to me that is absurd."

Keep asking those questions. Even if they're the hard questions. You may never know what you may learn when you don't really have the answers.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Assholes and Atheists

This blog has been floating around in my head for about 4 months. I couldn't quite figure out how to put it in words and then yesterday I heard a story about a friend from my fiancee and I had to get this one out today. I know it is going to upset some people and get praise from others. If you are part of the offended group you can kindly move on and disregard this post. I will not argue. As most of my blogs take shape it came to me at work while driving my forklift for roughly 9 hours...

Let me start a second time by saying I am tired of the self-righteous atheists. They act as if they are better than someone because they don't believe in some form of a deity or they don't belong to religion. Too many times have I heard people say, "you're stupid to believe in that, I'm smarter because I don't," and it's not always just about religion.

Just because you have moved on from religion does not give you the right to act as if people who still believe are beneath you. When you act this way you are acting similarly to the extreme religious. 

The problem I have with this is these are the atheists you see the most. The ones that have to rub it in your face that they are better. I used to frequent an atheist group here in the Utah and I stopped going because the group was filled with this type of atheist. On one occasion I took my fiancee to one of their parties and this is when it really became clear to me how judgmental and mean they were. She, being agnostic, was attacked. She was told she should just be an atheist, that she'll never find proof, and if she holds on to hope that there might be a god she was dumb.

There are always those who are more extreme than just that. My friend just went to Comic Con last weekend. Within the group that went was one of those atheists. My friend wanted to go to the demonology part. You know to see the sci-fi world about demons, angels, and most importantly to him, the Buffy stuff. The Atheist then proceeded to tell him there was no point in seeing that because it's not real and that it's stupid. What the f*** is Comic Con for if you can't see shit that is make believe? Better not go to Comic Con at all if that is your prerogative on life. You better stop enjoying yourself entirely, because guess what? Almost all entertainment comes from someone's IMAGINATION.

Why is that me, as an atheist, cannot enjoy things that have a context of something that is religious based? Can I still not enjoy the collision of notes in Handel's Messiah because it is about Jesus? Where is it forbidden that an atheist enjoy the works of art in St Peter's Basilica? I had a friend tell me that it was a waste of time to read C.S. Lewis because he wrote with Christian undertones, so I better not go to the movies either.

What a sad life. I feel that we all can find enrichment in anything that stimulates our minds, our senses, and our intellect. Whether that come from Richard Dawkins, John Stuart Mill, Buddha, or C.S. Lewis is does not matter. If we grow from anything and are inspired to do better it does not matter where that comes from. We all have different walks of life. We all have different needs that cannot be taken care of in the same way. When we look at each other and try to learn from each other that is when we become enlightened.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Religious Freedom?

This last weekend was General Conference for the Mormon faith. Every 6 months the prophet, apostles, and other major leaders in the faith speak directly to the members of the 15 million member religion. While I don't care what they believe in, because they have that right, I get upset that they try to control politically what they can.

They act as if anyone saying what they say is wrong is taking away their religious freedom, but is that what is really happening?

Let's start out by looking at the First Amendment in the Bill of Rights:

Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...

No one is telling them how and what they can worship. No one is going into their church houses and temples and taking them over, but living here in Utah you would think they are doing that to anyone that does not believe as they do.

Again they came out against SSM, big surprise there. Was anyone shocked? Even a little? While at the same time they claim they are not persuading the congress here to do as they say, but only as they see fit for the people in the state. While most of the people in the political offices in Utah are Mormon why would they feel the need to do differently than what their leaders tell them? I have rarely seen a Mormon politician vote for something contrary to their religion, even though they are elected to represent ALL citizens.

The leaders of the Mormon/LDS faith fought long and hard in the back rooms over Prop 8 yet claim they had no direct hand in it. They asked members to donate money and volunteer all they could to make sure the side they wanted to win won. Now if that is not an indication of anything why would they not be doing the same thing for what is happening in Utah now? Even though the public is split 50/50 for legalizing SSM.

Not only are they fighting SSM, but they also fought to make sure our liquor laws didn't change here in Utah. Elder D. Todd Christofferson from The Quorum of the 12 Apostles urged law makers to not change the laws. He said what we have now works so why change it? Which when you really look at the numbers he presented were completely skewed and taken out of context. They even made one of those fancy YouTube videos with the white-board drawings.

So why, with a faith that claims agency is the greatest gift of god, which I have written about previously, fights to make sure things go the way they want when their doctrine is the opposite?

Taken directly from their scripture: D&C 134: We do not believe it just to mingle religious influence with civil government, whereby one religious society is fostered and another proscribed in its spiritual privileges, and the individual rights of its members, as citizens, denied.

While their scripture says otherwise they are hiding behind the First Amendment when anyone speaks against them. There were a few sermons given during General Conference that leaders came out and said they are being attacked and the wicked are fighting their religion. Some have even said before their rights are being taken away.

I ask again, what religious rights are being taken away? If you want to be taken seriously people are going to contradict you. It's how the world works. The day your real religious rights are being taken away I will be by your side protesting. So why not live and let live.

You do preach the gospel of agency and love. Being able to be with that one person you love is what it all boils down to, isn't it?

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

Too sacred to jest... unless we do it ourselves

Yesterday on my Facebook I shared something that was deemed offensive by a Mormon relative. In fact I shared this Here is description of the tumblr, "I'm in a relationship with a former Mormon. Absolutely love his family, but Mormonism bewilders me." It goes through and shows gifs of the user's feelings when visiting the SO's family who happen to be Mormon and the user never was.

That's when it all went down. I was told that I should have only sent this to my fiancee in a private message and that it's offensive when I knew that my family would have seen it. The problem I have with this is they have no problem poking fun at other religions, but everything in their religion is untouchable to outsiders.

My father and mother went off on how the Book of Mormon Musical was offensive. They said it was not right that a gay man can play a Mormon missionary. That is the only argument they have as to why they won't condone it. They refuse to listen to any of the songs and really look at what it is about even after I explained that the musical teaches no false doctrine. They only get their information on the musical from what the leaders of the Mormon faith have to say.

I've never understood how, according to them, poking fun at their religion and culture is offensive. They always bring up how the Muslims need to lighten up when someone uses Mohamed in a cartoon or show, but you can't use Jesus. They're not as extreme as the Muslims to threaten death, but they condemn anything that makes any jest at their religion or culture, except when they poke fun at themselves.

When I was still going to the Mormon church I was more offended by movies like Singles Ward, The RM, and Baptists at Our BBQ. They take some of the most extreme views of the Mormon culture and make it into something that seems normal and acceptable. The sexism that is rampant in Singles Ward is awful. The message in The RM that you are only worth something if you can find a wife is deplorable, but nothing is wrong with those movies.

In all honesty nothing is so sacred that it cannot be made into a jest. That is all it is a joke. Nothing in the tumblr was demeaning. I have witnessed almost every single one of these feelings while visiting my family, but I laugh it off and I move on. Yes, we can all be a little crazy, and if we can't let others and ourselves make fun of that then what do we have left to laugh at?

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Waiting at the doctor's office.

Today while waiting at the doctor's office in the middle of Mormon, Utah; a Missionary-To-Be came in to get his physical before he could send in his papers to find out where he is being sent on his mission. I could tell he was nervous, because who wouldn't be? I looked at him fidget with his papers and thoughts kept streaming through my head.

What was going through my head back then? Were my thoughts the same as his or were they completely different? Is he going out of obligation like me or is he going because he truly feels it's the right thing to do? Do I feel sorry for his situation or do I admire his bravery? (Because going on a mission was probably the hardest thing I have ever done.) Will the mission change his views on the church to make him leave or will it make him a stronger member? There are so many young kids leaving home for 18-24 months. Many things can make impressions on their minds. What ones will he choose to listen to and accept?

If he is going out of obligation how can I reach out and help? And that is when it hit me. There really is not much I can do. Yes I can talk to him. I can reassure him he doesn't need to go, but it wouldn't have stopped me. I would have still gone on my mission. I would have lied to that stranger as I lied to myself. Fear of family and societal pressures will normally outweigh the thought of being free. It took me years to leave. My family still struggles with it, but it gets better as the months go on. What if his family is not as understanding? What if he is like many of my friends who still can't leave the faith because they don't want to lose the ties they have with their families? It's a Catch 22 situation. I know several people who's family would completely shut them out of their lives if they left.

To this young man, I say be strong. My will is with you and so is the will of several others. If by some chance you read this and you are that young man or another in a similar situation stay strong. Give in only as much as you have to. Bending the rules is ok. The guilt you feel will not always be there. The guilt will only control you as much as you let it. Remember that this is but a task in life and grow from it, learn from it, take as much of the good about it with you as you can. And above all look back at your leaders with a strong heart and proclaim you are doing your best. They don't need to know all the details because in reality they are just as scared as you are. A lot of times that brings out a bully (which was what my mission president was). Just remember he is more worried about himself and taking it out on you and others. To those Missionaries-to-be that can reach out to someone, do it; and to those who can't reach out you can do this. You can be strong.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Same Sex Marriage Rights in Utah?

I figured it was about time for me to chime in on this issue. There is so much back and forth on the issue. So many arguments on both sides that I am sure you all know my stance.

For those of you who don't know the back story (which are very few or none) a federal judge ruled Amendment 3 to the Utah Constitution, unconstitutional. This amendment primarily stated marriage is only recognized by the state to be between a man and a woman. It also states that Utah does not recognize same sex marriages from other states. During the 17 day period where same sex marriages were legal in the state just over 1,300 same sex couples finally were able to tie the knot. The state fought for a stay on the ruling, but we're denied a few times until it was finally awarded. Since the stay was awarded Gov. Herbert has announced that the state of Utah will not recognize the marriages that were performed legally and he will back the legal battle that will cost an estimated $2 Million. This money will of course come from Utah taxes. 

I find it so hard to believe that there is so much hate that our state is willing to spend this kind of money to take away happiness and equality from so many. With recent rulings on Prop 8 in California and nationally with DOMA I don't see how the Utah legislature honestly believes they have a case that can be won. 

One of two arguments they have is it destroys the sanctity of marriage and it will cause irreparable harm to the family. Which the Mormon faith believes is the base of our society and without strong families we cannot have a strong country. I remember being told several times growing up, in the faith, that the fall of Rome was caused by homosexuality, debauchery, and loose morals. I hardly believe that that was worse than spreading an empire so thin they could barely control their population and revolutions from small uprisings. 

The leaders of the faith are not helping either. They want to be looked at as a tolerant voice in the world, but condemn anything in the state that is against their beliefs. They tend to forget they are a global religion. If they really want to be taken seriously they should stop meddling in local politics and really focus on the global issues. Why not fight poverty? Or world hunger? Income inequality? Government and business fraud? Do you really believe God wanted your religion to build a high end mall right across from "His" temple? God said love everyone. Your religion preaches that God's greatest gift to the world is agency. Your religion also teaches that Satan, in the pre-existence, was the one that wanted to force everyone to obey God's laws. Forcing your beliefs on others does not make you tolerant just because you say you love them. You are fighting to take away people's rights. 

The other argument is that it is taking away your religious freedom. How the f**k is it doing that? You can still preach what you want. You can worship how you want. The government is not coming into your houses of worship and making you change your doctrine. The government is not forcing you to marry same sex couples. The moment your real religious freedoms are being taken away I will be right next to you fighting for your rights. Until then, bigotry is not tolerance. It is plainly hate. 

The only good I see coming out of this legal battle is that Utah will lose. They have no proof for any of their arguments. The only thing that will come of this is that no other state will have a leg to stand on and everyone will be afforded the rights they deserve and if it costs $2 Million from my state taxes, in my opinion, that will be money well spent. I would rather have Utah give up, but our governor is controlled by his religious beliefs. The legal battle will unfortunately happen. I just wish Utah would stand on the right side of history.